Yorkshire Chess History



Rev. William Wayte











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



04/09/1829, Calne, Wiltshire


14/11/1829, Calne, Wiltshire


03/05/1898, London



Non-Chess Life


William Wayte was born on 04/09/1829, at Calne, Wiltshire, the eldest son William Wayte, JP, of Highlands, Calne, Wiltshire, and Eliza Wayte, daughter of John Finnis, Chief Police Magistrate of Mauritius.  The baptism of William Wayte, son of William and Eliza Wayte, took place on 14/11/1829, at Calne.  William and Eliza Wayte’s second son was George Hodgson Wayte who started a career in law (for a while in the antipodes), but later entered the church.


William Wayte junior was educated at Eton and from there was admitted to King’s College, Cambridge, 21/10/1848, matriculating in Michaelmas 1848.  This makes him a contemporary at Cambridge of Arthur Bolland Skipworth.


He became a Craven Scholar in 1850, which means he was elected a recipient of funding from the fund set up by John, first Baron Craven of Ryton to further research into the classical languages and cultures.  Also in 1850 he won a Browne Medal.  Browne medals were instituted by a provision in the will of Sir William Browne who died in 1774.  They were for annual award as follows:

·   one for the best Greek Ode in the style of Sappho (on a subject set by the Vice-Chancellor);

·   one for the best Latin ode in the style of Horace, (on a subject set by the Vice-Chancellor);

·   one for the best Greek epigram in the style of Anthologia;

·   one the best Latin epigram in the style of Martial.

Venn doesn’t tell us, alas, in which category William Wayte won his Browne Medal.


He got his BA in 1853.  He was ordained a deacon (Oxford) in 1853, and a priest in 1854.  He didn’t, however, become a parish priest, but like a number of those ordained as priests became a schoolmaster.


The 1851 census found 21-year-old Calne-born William Wayte as a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.


He was an assistant master at Eton College, near Windsor, Berkshire, from 1853 to 1875.  He went on to get his MA in 1856, while at Eton.    The 1854 Post Office Directory of Berkshire etc listed William Wayte BA as an assistant master at Eton College.


He was elusive in the 1861 census, but was presumably resident at Eton College or nearby.


While at Eton he was appointed a “select preacher” at Cambridge for 1862.


On 06/08/1863 he married, at Sevenoaks, Kent, Mary Anne Antoinette Lovett Cameron, born 1838, Codicote, Herts., daughter of Jonathan Henry Lovett Cameron (born 18/07/08, in Ireland), who was at the time vicar of Shoreham, Kent, and had earlier been vicar of West Lovington, Wiltshire.  The bride’s birth was registered during the fourth quarter of 1838, at Hitchin, Herts., in her full name of Mary Anne Antoinette Lovett Cameron.  (His brother George Hodgson Wayte had got married five days earlier, on 01/08/1863.)


Wife Mary’s maiden name was Cameron.  Whilst she and a number of siblings had “Lovett” as their last forename, the youngest siblings lacked the “Lovett”, and in the quarterly returns of births she was listed alphabetically under “C” for “Cameron”.  After marriage her full name was “Mary Ann Antoinette Lovett Wayte”, though sometimes “Ann” and/or “Antoinette” were/was omitted, and “Anne” was sometimes rendered “Ann”.


William and Mary Wayte appear to have had no children.


The 1871 census found William and his wife, on this occasion called Mary Lovett Wayte, living at Eton College, Slough Road, Eton, along with seven servants.  William was described as an assistant master of Eton College, a clergyman without cure, and also a landowner holding 70 acres of land.


Harrod & Co.'s Directory of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire &c, 1876, listed Rev. W. Wayte MA as an assistant master at Eton, though he had perhaps moved by the time of publication.


From Eton he moved to moved to London to take up the post of Professor of Greek at University College, London, a post he held from 1876 to 1879.


The 1881 census found William and his wife, again called merely Mary Lovett Wayte, living at William’s final residence, 6 Onslow Square, Brompton, London, along with three servants.  William was now described as being in Holy Orders without cure, and also in the occupation of “literature”.


William Wayte’s brother George Hodgson Wayte died on 28/12/1881 at Meran in the Southern Tyrol.


Kelly’s Post Office London Directory for 1882 listed Rev. William Wayte MA at 6 Onslow Square, London, SW.


The 1891 census found William and Mary still at 6 Onslow Square, Brompton, London, with three servants.  William was now described merely as a clerk in holy orders.


Kelly’s Post Office London Directory for 1895 listed Rev. William Wayte MA at 6 Onslow Square, London, SW.


Among William Waytes’s literary output were editions of (translations of?) Plato’s Protagoras, Demosthenes’s Androtion and Demosthenes’s Timocrates.  He was joint editor with G. E. Marindin of the 1890 edition of the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, which was originally the work of William Smith published in 1842.




The Rev. William Wayte died on 03/05/1898 at his home at 6 Onslow Square.  Probate was granted to Mary Antoinette Lovett, widow, her brother Henry Lovett Cameron, esquire, George John Courthorpe, gentleman, and George Rigby Murray, gentleman.  His effects, after a re-swearing, amounted to £25,220 4s. 3d.


The "Advertiser" in Adelaide, South Australia, of Tuesday, 28/06/1898, page 7, gave an obituary with an Australian angle

[viewable on Trove, an Australian digitised newspaper website at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/7263084]:





A prominent English chessplayer, the Rev. William Wayte, died at his residence, 6, Onslow-square, London, on May 3, at the age of 68.  Mr Wayte was a son of the late Mr William Wayte, of Wiltshire, England, and a nephew of the late Hon. B. T. Finniss, of Adelaide, with whom for nearly 30 years he carried on a most interesting correspondence on political and other questions.  Politically he was a staunch Liberal, a strong supporter of a free-trade policy, and an advocate of a Customs union between Great Britain and the colonies.  In Australian affairs he took a lively interest, more especially in the Federation question.  Mr. Wayte was well known in other ways than as a chessplayer.  A fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and for many years an assistant master of Eton College he was a fine classical scholar, and the author of several classical publications, in which he has shown not only a wide learning but also great capacity and judgment as a critic.  He was joint editor of Dr. William Smith's "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities."  Among many men of note who where [sic] at one time Mr. Wayte's pupils can be mentioned three former Australian Governors, Lords Carrington, Hopetoun, and Jersey, and also the present President of the South Australian Legislative Council, Sir R. C. Baker.  He married the daughter of the Rev. J. W. Lovett Cameron [John Henry Lovett Cameron], vicar of Shoreham, Kent; and was thus a brother-in-law of Commander Verney Lovett-Cameron [Lovett Cameron], the well-known African traveller.  Among other offices held by him was that of chairman of the Chelsea Committee of the Charity Organisation Society, in which capacity he attended the conference at Oxford.  As a chessplayer Mr. Wayte was for many years recognised as the strongest English amateur. From 1866 he regularly attended the meetings of the Counties' Chess Association, twice winning the first prize and several times the second.  Upon his retirement from his mastership at Eton in 1873 be took up literary pursuits, and gave his leisure time to the game.  He was a daily attendant of the St. George's Chess Club, and on several occasions won the Lowenthal Cup.  Not only was he known as a practical player, but also as a theorist and analyst.  For more than 30 years he has contributed valuable articles and reviews to the chess periodicals of the day, and quite lately he published an interesting series of reminiscences in the British Chess Magazine and the Field.  Mr. Wayte does not leave any family [meaning children – but he was survived by his wife].




He was a frequent participant in national chess events.  In retirement in London he was a regular at the St. George’s Chess Club.  For part of his career he was among the top amateur players in the country, arguably at times the strongest.  He contributed to chess magazines and columns, including the British Chess Magazine.


Competitions etc in which he competed included the following:

1861 (British) Chess Association meeting, Bristol: lost second round to Samuel Standidge Boden in the “Grand Tournament” (8-player knockout).

1865 Redcar chess meeting: visited the meeting.

1866 Redcar chess meeting: finished 6-7= on 2 out of 7 (8-player knockout).

1866 London

1868 York chess meeting of Skipworth’s Yorkshire Chess Association (retrospectively branded a Counties Chess Association meeting):
finished 2nd behind Edmund Thorold on 6½ out of 9 (10-player knockout)

1869 York chess meeting of Skipworth’s Yorkshire Chess Association (retrospectively branded a Counties Chess Association meeting):
finished 2-3= on 1½ out of 3 in class 1 (4-player knockout); lost round 1 of handicap giving pawn and two moves to W. F. Ball.

1870 Counties Chess Association meeting, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: finished 3rd with 6½ out of 9, behind Edmund Thorold and Edward Walker.

1871 Counties Chess Association, Malvern: finished 2nd on 6½ out of 9, behind Arthur Bolland Skipworth for the Challenge Cup.

1872 Counties Chess Association meeting, Malvern: finished 3rd on 10½ out of 14 in first class, behind Rev. Charles Ranken and Edmund Thorold.

1873 Counties Chess Association meeting, Bristol: seemingly finished 2nd on 7 out of 9, behind Arthur Bolland Skipworth.

1874 Counties Chess Association meeting, Birmingham: finished 4th out of 6½ (won by Amos Burn).

1875 Counties Chess Association meeting, Glasgow: finished 4-7= on 6 out of 11.

1876 Counties Chess Association meeting, Cheltenham: finished 2–4= on 9 out of 11, behind Amos Burn.

1877 in a series of games with James Inness Minchin, in London, scored +11, =1, -7.

1877 Counties Chess Association meeting, Birmingham: finished 2nd to John Jenkin, after a play-off.

1878 Counties Chess Association meeting, London: finished 7th on 6 out of 12.

1878 St. George’s Chess Club, London: won the Löwenthal Cup, on 13 out of 14 (8-player, 2-round, all-play-all).

1879 St. George’s Chess Club, London: won the Löwenthal Cup, on 9 out of 12 (5-player, 3-round, all-play-all)

1880 Counties Chess Association meeting, Boston, Lincs.: finished 1-4= on 4 out of 6 (7-player all-play-all).

1881 Counties Chess Association meeting, Leamington with 7 of 9 possible points, behind Rev. Charles Ranken and Rev John Owen.

1884 Counties Chess Association meeting, Bath: 1st with 5 out of 6.

1884 in a match with Edmund Thorold, in London, he scored +7, =4, -5.

1893 Counties Chess Association meeting, Woodhall Spa: finished 5th on 3½ out of 7 (8-player all-play-all).


He was captain of the South in the North versus South match at the Great Western Hotel in Birmingham on 29/01/1893.


Some on-line chess-game databases list a game lost by William Wayte to Elijah Williams, allegedly played in 1835.  This looks improbable, the future Rev. William Wayte would be about 6 years old at the time.  Elijah Williams died in 1854, so the best guess is that 1835 is a mistyping of 1853.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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